What type of antenna should I use?
|The Quick Answer|
|For best results, use a UHF antenna. For a single TV, most UHF non-amplified indoor antennas work within 30 miles of broadcast towers. A DB4 (Double Bowtie with 4 elements) works great as an outdoor whole-house antenna for towers within 40 miles. Read below for more info and suggestions.
|Recommended Antenna Type|
|As stated above, you should use a UHF antenna. But with so many options, which one should you choose?
For a set-top or indoor antenna that will only be connected to one TV, the triangular directional type normally works well. The round or flat multi-directional type are the most common type found in stores. Both of these work best within 30 miles of the broadcast tower and prefer no obstructions between them and the tower. We recommend using a passive antenna indoors, not an amplified antenna. Amplified antennas are ones that require a power connection. Amplification is not needed if you are not splitting the signal and the cable is short. Sometimes amplification can even make the signal worse by picking up interference or causing the signal to go out-of-range.
|For a whole-house antenna, the Double Bowtie (DB) type and Hoverman types work very well. There are three main types of DB antennas. DB2, DB4, and DB8. The numbers refer to the amount of elements (bowties) they have. DB2 models are typically rated to work 30 miles from the broadcast tower, DB4 up to 50, and DB8 up to 70.
There are also many variations of the DB type and Hoverman types that work well. And, there are other types of antennas you may find more aesthetically pleasing. For example, there are some antennas that are incased in plastic.
You can also make your own antenna. The Hoverman type (or variation) is the most popular design for do-it-yourselfers. Make Magazine has a great video showing you how to make an antenna.
|An indoor antenna, should be above the TV and aimed towards the broadcast tower. AntennaWeb.org will tell you where your local antennas are located. Keep adjusting the antenna until you find the best signal. Check each channel for signal strength. Signal strength on an LG TV is checked by pressing Menu on the remote and choosing Setup->Manual Tuning. |
Large whole house antennas should be mounted on the house, a pole, or in the attic with the least obstructions possible. Mounting it in an attic will reduce the signal some, but it's the easiest and safest way. Test the antenna in your in your attic before mounting to see if you get full signals. If you have a metal roof, mount the antenna outside.
When mounting an antenna outdoors, pay a professional to mount it for you. You could hurt yourself by falling off a ladder. And...if it's not properly grounded, you may create a lighting rod directly to your HDTV.
When splitting the signal or running cables over twenty feet, a TV Signal Amplifier will most likely be needed. Note that an amplifier is only a booster and will not fix bad reception. The antenna still needs to be placed where it can receive good reception without interference. If the amplifier can not be placed close to the antenna, a pre-amp may be needed.